Note this post is focused on NMN – for a detailed post on all David’s main supplements – see here.

David looks great for his age (50), so it’s natural to want to emulate his aging “success”. One of the key supplements he takes is NMN, and below we’ll dig into the details.

One thing David is fast to point out is that he’s a scientist – not a medical doctor, and doesn’t give health recommendations. Respecting that, this post will only look at what David does, noting that he isn’t recommending others do the same. David does not sell or endorse any brands – so the discussion below on “where to buy” will simply look at options.

NMN – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide

NMN falls into a category of supplements, along with Nicotinamide Riboside, referred to as “NAD boosters” – which have become increasingly popular.

NAD is required for every cell of our body to help facilitate energy production. As we age, the amount of NAD our cells produce declines, and less NAD = reduced cellular function. According to David, at 50, you have about half as much NAD as at age 20.

The hope is that by supplementing precursors we can boost the cellular level of NAD closer to youthful levels. Which in turn may improve overall health and energy levels.

There’s little to no doubt in the research community that we need to restore NAD function; but the jury is still out on what the best method will be. Currently David has his eggs in the basket of NMN.

Left pic = 2009 (source), right pic = 2019 (source)

NMN – Where to buy?

David’s NMN powder comes from excess product left over from lab experiments. This is good to know, but doesn’t help us when it comes to sourcing some. Below we will look at various possible buying options.

Potential considerations when buying include:

  • Accuracy – is the product you’re getting actually NMN?
  • Purity – assuming it is NMN, how pure is it? 90%… 95%…?
  • Contaminants – does it contain any contaminants such as heavy metals?
  • Fillers – are any fillers used, and if so, what % do they account for of the overall powder?

Assuming all the above are ok, the last crucial question is:

  • Price – how much does it cost per gram?

Searching online there are a large number of possible options. Without doing ones own 3rd party lab testing, it’s hard to evaluate the quality of products. What I’ve done below is put some of the more highly reviewed options into a table, calculated the approximate price per gram, and added links to any 3rd party analysis certificates the companies display.

ProductApproximate price per gram3rd Party Analysis Certificate?
ProHealth Longevity$5.33/gram ($80 / 15g)Yes - link
Double Wood$6.53/gram ($49 / 7.5g)Yes - link
Super NMN$6.08/gram ($152 / 25g)Yes - link
RevGenetics Advanced NMN$15.8/gram ($395 / 25g)Yes - link
No 3rd Party Analysis Certificate
Maac10$6.5/gram ($24 / 3.75g)None I can find
Genexx Powder (3x 15g tub)$5/gram ($225 / 45g)Their website says yes - but can't find it

The above table provides a start, but for a detailed analysis table see this companion post.

– Price per gram
The average price per gram appears around $5-$6. For products dramatically lower in price than this, it would be worth exercising some caution around their quality.

– Capsulating the Powders
With the bulk powder versions of NMN above, you could put them into capsules yourself at home, using a cheap, but handy, capsule filling machine. Emulating the method David uses to take his NMN; in capsules swallowed with a glass of water.

– Testing
It’s perhaps worth noting that none of the companies (besides RevGenetics) have demonstrated testing for impurities such as heavy metals, solvents or bacteria – they only test for NMN purity.

NMN Price & Bioavailability

One thing that’s worth acknowledging is that NMN is an expensive supplement, especially if you wanted to emulate David Sinclair’s dosage of 1g/day.

There are a few possible workarounds:

  1. It may be possible to use lower doses, perhaps 0.25 or 0.5g per day. Given that NAD levels decline with age, this approach of taking a lower dose may be more viable the younger you are - on the basis that if you're younger, you might need less NMN to raise your NAD back to youthful levels. However, this is all theory, we need studies to test the dose dependent effect, and which dose thresholds work for different age groups.
  2. An idea being discussed by the brand "Alivebynature" is sublingual dosing. Essentially you put the powder in your mouth, under your tongue, and let it dissolve fully before swallowing. With the intention that it's absorbed by the capillaries into the bloodstream, bypassing the liver, and increasing the amount that makes it to the bloodstream. If you can increase the absorption, you can potentially decrease the quantity needed per dose. Sublingual dosing is described in more detail on their site. Having read their description, it's evident that sublingual dosing is not a science backed approach (yet) - it's still speculative. David actually wrote a blog post about sublingual dosing, saying that we still don't have any evidence if this works, and that whilst he doesn't tell anyone what to do, or give health advice - he doesn't personally take NMN sublingually.

What does David think of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)?

Nicotinamide Riboside is a precursor to NAD, similar to NMN. David states in his book that his lab finds:

  • NMN a more stable molecule than NR
  • NMN is able to do some things in mice studies that NR can’t

That being said, he isn’t against NR, he’s just more optimistic on NMN being the better molecule for raising NAD in the long run. He notes in a blog post on NMN & NR that:

  • The science is further along for NR, but it’s too early to say which is better for humans.

NR – Where to buy?

The brand leader in sales of Nicotinamide Riboside is Chromadex’s Niagen (pictured above). Amongst Chromadex’s scientific advisors is Charles Brenner, who first discovered NR, and showed it could extend the life of yeast cells.

Niagen’s recommended serving size is 300mg (1 capsule) – which may be less efficient at raising NAD levels than 1g of NMN.

If we compare NR & NMN at a price per gram, they’re more similar than I expected. Niagen works out approximately $5.22/gram, and NMN is around $5-$6/gram depending on brand.

NR & NMN Storage

In David’s recent interview with Rhonda Patrick, he discussed details around storage, saying:

  • NR and NMN need to be kept cold (fridge or freezer) because they don’t have a long shelf life.
  • If they are kept on a shelf, and are not in a stabilized form, they can degrade into nicotinamide. This is sub-optimal because Nicotinamide can have the opposite of the desired effect, and actually inhibit the sirtuins1. He didn’t elaborate further on what a “stabilized form” means in this context, which would be interesting to know.
  • If NMN gets wet, or gets a bit of humidity in the bottle, its only a short time before it’s degrading. This may be the case with NR too (because it applies to many supplements), but when David explained this he was explicitly talking about NMN.

Since David explained this I’ve come to learn that Nicotinamide Riboside, when it its chloride form; Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride (as sold by Niagen), is in a stabilized form. This means that it doesn’t need to be kept cold to have an adequate shelf life. More on that below…

Looking at the data online around stabilized NR, I found:

  • FDA document (link) mentioning the stability of Niagen up to 11 months in both normal and accelerated conditions. In both cases it maintained its NR chloride content well (98.8% under normal conditions and 92.1% under accelerated conditions). This document was published before they had completed testing beyond 11 months.
  • Then similarly a more recent “European Food Safety Authority” document discusses stability (link) of at least 36 months when stored under ambient conditions. Noting that the applicant (Chromadex) who make Niagen recommend it’s stored under refrigerated conditions with a shelf life of 36 months.

What I gather from that, is that NR in its chloride form is stabilized. But like most edible products, cooling it does slow down the degredation that occurs over time. However for most people, the product isn’t intended to sit on the shelf for a long time, and thus it will be consumed before the degredation becomes a problem.

To Conclude…

  • David is a longevity researcher who is certainly aging gracefully.

Left pic = 2009 (source), right pic = 2019 (source)

  • He doesn’t give medical advice and doesn’t endorse any brands, however, he’s open to sharing what he does for himself.
  • We looked at how NMN works and where to buy.
  • We discussed Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) as a potential alternative to NMN.

If you liked this post, you may also find this longer post on the supplements David takes (including Resveratrol) interesting.

Any questions or comments, please leave them below.

See Post Sources Below:

  1. Inhibition of Silencing and Accelerated Aging by Nicotinamide, a Putative Negative Regulator of Yeast Sir2 and Human SIRT1 – Bitterman et al (2002)

Posted by Alex

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